Having a rough marriage with a passive aggressive person, gives a glimpse of what lies ahead with divorce. The characteristics that drove you nuts may be intensified during this process.
When contemplating divorce have an exit plan ready. When actually leaving, do this swiftly and be prepared for the charm to be turned on full force. He may not want to let you go, and makes promises that will not be kept.
10 Ways to Know if Your Ex is Passive Aggressive:
1. Passive aggressive people do not deal with anger in a direct way. Be prepared for longer court proceedings. This will mean higher legal costs with these stalling tactics. Tell your attorney right away about this personality disorder so she plan strategies accordingly. Mosby’s medical dictionary states they have “indirect expression of resistance to occupational or social demands. It results in a persistent ineffectiveness, lack of self-confidence, poor interpersonal relationships and pessimism.” By not openly expressing anger, this sabotages proceedings.
2. They avoid confrontations. Strong emotions are hidden and hostility fuels their actions. On the surface he appears calm, so it is difficult to know what he is really thinking.
3. Passive aggressive spouses are big blamers. Others are to blame for the problems in their lives and nothing is their fault. It is his wife’s spending that caused their financial woes, not his vintage car collection. His boss is keeping him from getting the promotion, not the quality of his work. His spouse is a target of this blame which spills over into the divorce proceedings.
4. Passive aggressive people excel with the silent treatment. By not having confrontations, this can result in silence. He sabotages communication by not being an active participant, or may answer questions tersely.
5. The essence of being passive aggressive is not following through with something. They will agree to bring financial records to the next divorce meeting, but not show up with them. They agree to do a report on the job, but do not have all of the components finished. Post-divorce they say, “The check is in the mail.” Their hostility is expressed by not doing a task that is expected of them.
6. A passive aggressive person tries to punish the spouse for various sins that are not openly mentioned. Post-divorce, one way to mete out this punishment is by paying alimony sporadically. In the personal property division, he may ask for a lot less, but mainly go after what you hold dear. He is willing to take a smaller share, but chooses the painting of your cat, portrait of the kids, and other sentimental items. He may leave behind the gifts that you gave him when moving out of the marital home. His motivation is your perceived punishment.
7. He is forgetful. He may forget court dates or collaborative sessions which then drags out the whole process. He may forget visitation dates which leaves you and the kids waiting. He can avoid dealing with situations by saying, “Oh, I forgot.”
8. There is a big battle for custody. The passive aggressive spouse will fight for custody, whether or not he really wants it. This is another way to get back at you, especially for leaving. Try to omit emotion out of your communication. Dwell on facts and not the underlying anger in your interactions. Discuss the children and their needs matter-of-factly and keep the focus off you. If getting nowhere, then a formal custody evaluation may be mandated by the court.
9. A passive aggressive person feels that he is always the victim. He is the victim in divorce, becaue his wife left him. If he is not doing well in life, it is since his co-workers are out to get him. He was the model husband and now has to suffer through a divorce.
10. He tears others down to make himself seem important. The passive aggressive person gives back handed compliments, which leaves one unsure if she has been insulted. These belittling comments do a number on the wife’s self-esteem. The passive aggressive person often smiles as he makes these character assassinations to others.
Your attorney will attempt to keep the divorce on track and get through it as quickly as feasible. If you dread dealing with your spouse post-divorce, consider getting as much as possible written into the divorce decree. Do not assume that he will be able to make compromises easily. You may end up having a mediator on speed dial.